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Wilmington Trans Community would like to thank the Great Wilmington Business Journal for recognizing Nova Swanstrom and TR Nunley who are advocates in the LGBTQIA Community, especially for folks who identify as Transgender, Intersex, Non-Binary, Gender Fluid, Crossdressers, etc.  Below is more information about Nova and TR. 

Click here for all the Finalists and Winners who won this year!   

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Nova Swanstrom

Title: Therapist 

Organization: Delta Behavioral Health 

What the nominator said: “When I first met Nova and shared my interest in providing transgender medical care, little did I know that she really was THE only local gender therapist at the time, nor did I grasp just how many referrals would come my way. I have no doubt that the local transgender community gained better entrée into our healthcare system over the past few years, in large part due to Nova’s work. 

“Her vast years of experience and certification through the World Professional Association of Transgender Health have made her a real trailblazer, in normalizing patients’ and families’ experiences, and steadily guiding them to affirming and appropriate health care. She created the local free transgender support groups here in Wilmington, and she has trained multiple other therapists in gender issues to help broaden workforce competence. She serves patients from all over Southeast NC and Northeast SC. She also maintains and shares a list of trans friendly and other affirming health-related resources with other providers across the medical profession. 

“Perhaps most impressive is her professional outreach to other healthcare providers on behalf of mutual patients/ clients. ...” 

- Karen Isaacs, physician 

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TR Nunley

Title: Program coordinator 

Organization: Wilmington Transgender Support Services 

What the nominator said: “TR and I first met as co-panelists at an LGBTQIA health fair in town. After introducing ourselves, he asked if I was a member of the ‘community.’ As a privileged white cis-female, I was a little caught off-guard, and quickly recognized the meaning of his question, fumbling around for the best way to explain that I was an ally. TR’s welcoming and easy demeanor through that conversation was just the start of my recognizing his meaningful and ubiquitous presence in all matters related to equality and equity, especially around sexual orientation and gender identity. 

“I reconnected with TR through his involvement in transgender support groups. … TR remains actively involved in the upkeep of local transgender support groups. … 

“In June 2020, TR received, on behalf of the local community, the Wilmington City Council’s first official proclamation of June as Pride month. ... 

“I believe it’s his tireless community outreach to support and advance the well-being and health of the local LGBTQIA community makes him a true health care hero.” 

- Karen Isaacs, physician